November 16, 2020
When the Citizen Response Task Force (CRTF) was formed in early June, its members from all aspects of the Portsmouth economy was to help Portsmouth find its way through the pandemic. Keeping the public informed was, and remains, key to that mission.
The CRTF has just released a “Daily Life During the COVID-19 Pandemic Frequently Asked Questions” document that covers a wide range of topics that residents face such as what to do if someone you know receives a positive test, the protocols covering travel outside the state, and how to be prepared.
The FAQs are posted on a page on the City website and as a PDF to download and share. The new FAQs page joins three other documents produced by the CRTF that began as initiatives from the Health Subcommittee, working closely with the Health Department. The others include:
- COVID-19 & Masks FAQs
- COVID-19 Testing FAQs
- Home and Business Ventilation FAQs
- Portsmouth Mask Ordinance FAQs
All of the links are posted to the Health Department COVID-19 information page.
“As NH Epidemiologist Dr. Benjamin Chan reiterates, there is widespread community transmission of the COVID-19 virus across the state, and Rockingham County has what NH Department of Health and Human Services considers a ‘substantial’ amount of infection,” said City Health Officer Kim McNamara. “The numbers are going up, so it is essential that everyone – business owners and employees, teachers, students and parents, organizations and friends – do everything they can to reduce their own risk and the risk of spreading the virus unintentionally to someone else. Wear a mask, maintain physical distance of at least 6 feet, do not gather in crowded or confined spaces, and wash your hands. Only if we all keep doing those things – and the FAQs are great reminders – can we start moving back to ‘normal’ with schools open, businesses able to sustain themselves, and infection rates coming down.”
From the start, the Citizen Response Task Force divided itself into subcommittees to divide the responsibilities in their charge:
- Streets – how Portsmouth could adapt public streets for outdoor dining
- Bridge Street – how to create an outdoor restaurant and arts/culture venue
- Health – assisting the Health Department in keeping up with the latest data
The CRTF continues to meet weekly to address new topics and challenges to reduce community spread of the virus.